Monday, April 23, 2012

Lesser Goldfinch

Lesser Goldfinches are found in much of the western United States, from Oregon east to Colorado and Texas, and south into Central and South America. Two subspecies are known: western males (lower photo) are green-backed; eastern males (upper photo) are strikingly black and yellow. An isolated population of western birds also exists in the Hot Springs city park in South Dakota. The species is most common in California (I took the lower photo in San Diego) and Texas (The upper photo is from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin). Lesser Goldfinches are less common and sporadic elsewhere in the country (Watt and Willoughby 1999).

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is an interesting destination for those interested in flora and/or birds. Our visit in early April was a bit early in the season for most of the flowers. We were delighted to discover that University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum members are granted reciprocal entry fees, thus admission was waived after we presented our Arboretum membership card.

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